Can Rainbowfish Live With Shrimp? [Main Reasons They Can’t]

Can Rainbowfish Live With Shrimp? [Main Reasons They Can’t]

Rainbowfish in a tank with shrimp

Rainbowfish can’t live with shrimp. As omnivores, they eat insects, small crustaceans, worms, and plant matter. So rainbowfish will eat shrimp if they’re kept together. However, you can keep adult shrimp, like Amano, bamboo, or dwarf shrimp with rainbowfish by creating a shelter of dense vegetation.

Let’s now understand why rainbowfish can’t live with shrimp in more detail.

Reasons Why Rainbowfish Can’t Live With Shrimp

Rainbowfish are popular among aquarists because of their colors and ease of care.

They’re peaceful and so are primarily found in community aquariums.

However, they aren’t herbivores who depend entirely on detritus and plant matter for nutrition.

They also eat meat and small invertebrates as part of their diet.

Given below are the main reasons why rainbowfish can’t live with shrimp.

Non-Fussy Eaters

Rainbowfish are omnivores that live in freshwater habitats. These fish eat insect larvae, small crustaceans, and zooplankton.

You can feed rainbowfish a protein-rich diet of high-quality flakes or pellets in captivity. They aren’t fussy eaters either.

So they can be a constant threat to your aquarium shrimp.

A large adult shrimp can be safe with them, but rainbowfish will eat a smaller shrimp if it fits in their mouths.


Rainbowfish are swift swimmers. They move around the tank at a brisk pace.

Shrimp are also brilliant swimmers. These arthropods don’t swim like a fish but can move around quickly.

However, the fast-moving rainbowfish can stress the shrimp because of their constant movements.

Territoriality And Aggression

The male rainbowfish can get territorial during the breeding season.

At the same time, the female rainbowfish are egg scatterers and spawn in dense vegetation.

Most aquarists that keep shrimp will have dense vegetation to provide shelter to the crustacean.

So there are chances of confrontations between the rainbowfish and shrimp during the breeding season.

Rainbowfish can display aggression toward shrimp to safeguard its territory and breed successfully.

Opportunistic Feeders

Shrimp are opportunistic eaters that will eat anything they can get into their mouths. It includes any edible food, including fish eggs.

It doesn’t matter to the shrimp if the eggs are fertile or infertile; they will eat all the eggs.

So shrimp aren’t suitable inhabitants for a breeding tank.

There are also cases where several fish owners have reported some shrimp species eating the fish fry.

So it’s not safe to have fry and adult shrimp in the same tank.

Do Rainbowfish Eat Shrimp?

Rainbowfish about to eat shrimp

Yes, rainbowfish will eat shrimp if they’re small in size.

These omnivores eat insects, larva, small crustaceans, and plant matter in the wild. So they will eat small shrimp.

Many aquarists also feed their rainbowfish live food and frozen brine shrimp for higher nutrition.

These protein-rich foods are highly recommended for faster growth and good health of rainbowfish.

So it’s not recommended to keep small shrimp in a tank containing adult rainbowfish.

However, you can keep fully grown, large adult shrimp with rainbowfish.

Some aquarists also believe in adding shrimp before introducing rainbowfish into the tank because then the fish becomes more accommodating.

Which Shrimp Can Live With Rainbowfish?

Many aquarists want to keep rainbowfish and shrimp together.

However, as omnivores, rainbowfish will eat shrimp that can easily fit their mouths.

So you must try to keep fully grown adult shrimp with rainbowfish.

Some shrimp that can live with rainbowfish are:

  1. Ghost shrimp,
  2. Vampire shrimp,
  3. Bamboo shrimp,
  4. Amano shrimp,
  5. Cherry shrimp,
  6. Green Lace shrimp,
  7. Neocaridina shrimp, and
  8. Blue Velvet shrimp.

However, keeping shrimp in a breeding tank isn’t recommended. Shrimp are opportunistic feeders, so they’ll devour the fish eggs and small fry.

Related Questions

Can threadfin rainbowfish live with shrimp?

Yes, threadfin rainbowfish can live with adult shrimp species if they grow up in the same tank.

This fish is peaceful, friendly, and often seen in community aquariums.

However, it’s best to keep the fish and shrimp in separate tanks to eliminate the risk of any unwarranted aggression.

Can forktail rainbowfish eat shrimp?

Forktail rainbowfish can eat baby brine shrimp. However, this fish is peaceful, friendly, and excellent for planted and community tanks.

So forktail rainbowfish can live peacefully with adult Dwarf shrimp, Bamboo shrimp, Amano shrimp, and other peaceful invertebrates.

Can Australian rainbowfish eat shrimp?

Yes, Australian rainbowfish can eat shrimp.

This fish feeds on insects, larvae, small crustaceans, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and detritus.

So if you plan to keep shrimp with Australian rainbowfish, it’s best to keep fully grown adult shrimp so that they can live peacefully in the same tank.

Can boesemani rainbowfish eat shrimp?

Yes, boesemani rainbowfish can eat shrimp.

As omnivores, they eat small crustaceans, insects, and even some type of vegetation.

However, you can keep peaceful rainbowfish with large shrimp species like adult Amano Shrimp and Bamboo shrimp without the fear of your shrimp being eaten.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *